The Coastal Watershed Council developed
the Central Coast Regional Citizen Monitoring Guide, a product
of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Citizen Watershed Monitoring
Network funded by the Central Coast Regional Water Quality
Control Board and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Download the Citizen Monitoring Guide
by selecting a link below for either Mac or PC format. (NOTE:
The Guide is broken into four (4) separate PDF documents,
numbered 1-4. The guide will take roughly two hours to download
on a 56K modem.)
MacOS - .sit
Click and hold on the name of the file you wish to download. In the pop-up
menu, select "Save this link as..." (or something similar) and save it to
your local computer. You'll need a copy of Stuffit Expander to open them.
StuffIt - http://my.smithmicro.com/mac/stuffit.html
Windows - .zip
Right-click on the name of the file you wish to download. In the pop-up
menu, select "Save this link as..." (or something similar), and save it to
your desired directory. You'll need a program that can unzip archives (like
WinZip) to read them.
WinZip - www.winzip.com
United States Environmental Protection
Agency Office of Water Monitoring Water Quality Chapter 5
provides nationally-accepted protocols for common water quality
measurements. Listed below are the most common protocols.
Dissolved Oxygen or DO is
the amount of oxygen dissolved in the water. It is important
in aquatic systems because most aquatic organisms need oxygen
to survive and grow. For cold water environments, the water
quality objective requires that the DO concentration not fall
below 6 to 8 mg/L.
Temperature is a measure of
the average energy of water molecules. It is one of the most
important water quality parameters because it affects water
chemistry and the functions of aquatic organisms. It influences:
- The amount of oxygen that can be dissolved in the water
- Rate of photosynthesis by algae and aquatic plants
- Metabolic rates of organisms
- Sensitivity of organisms to pollutants, parasites and
- Timing of reproduction and migration of aquatic organisms
pH is a measure of how acidic
or basic the water is. It is important to document because:
- It affects chemical reactions in aquatic organisms.
- In extreme conditions it can cause physical damage to
- It may increase the toxicity of certain chemicals.
- For the Central Coast Region, pH shall not be depressed
below 7 or raised above 8.5.
Turbidity is a measure of the
amount of suspended particles in the water. It is important
to measure because:
- The particles can absorb heat and/or diffuse light thereby
affecting photosynthesis capabilities of aquatic plants.
- Turbidity is an indicator of erosion. High sediment loading
can clog the gills of fish and also bury their eggs.
- The particles provide a conduit for pathogens, pollutants
Conductivity is the ability
of water to conduct an electrical current. It varies with
water source: ground water, agricultural fields, municipal
waste water, rainfall, etc. Therefore, it can indicate groundwater
seepage or a sewage leak.